Beddingfield took his duty seriously
Jim Grammer, When it was a game
Most all teams have their one character that stands out from the rest.
Usually, he's the guy that is funny without really trying; a natural comic. The guy who seems to be always goofing-up or getting into trouble with the coaches, but always kept the team laughing
There was a guy like this on the Alabama teams of the late-1960s. Matter of fact, he was a quarterback, although he was, more or less, unheard of. He certainly didn't reach the fame like Joe Namath, Kenny Stabler or Scott Hunter had, but he was famous in his own way.
His name was David Beddingfield.
He came to Alabama as a star quarterback out of Montgomery and ended up a third or fourth string player. He was delegated to mostly running the scout team and being the target of defensive lineman in live scrimmages.
What set David apart, though, is he took his lowly duties very seriously. Even though he was the low man on the hierarchy of quarterbacks, he took his job with a pleasant attitude and the enthusiasm of a starter.
David also was the team 'clown.' The dressing room was never dull or boring with him around. His specialty was pretending to be a cheerleader leading cheers, but putting his own special words and style to the performance.
No matter how much others were dreading the upcoming practice, there was David to liven up the atmosphere.
Then, after a tough practice with everyone completely exhausted, he would come into the dressing room with something to cause everybody to laugh.
Playing time in a real game for David was limited to taking a snap and taking a knee to run out the clock at the end of the game. This chore got to be his weekly ritual, coming in the game late in the fourth quarter for Stabler or Joe Kelly and taking the final two or three snaps.
But it got to be more than just a ritual for David, because he saw it as his great contribution to the Alabama program. He took pride in his weekly duty.
At some point during the season, though, Coach Bryant opted for another quarterback to go out and take the final snaps to run out the clock. David was hurt deeply.
As the story goes, he went to Coach Bryant the very next day and insisted he be given back his job. Coach apologized to David, not knowing how seriously he took his duties. He put his arm around David's shoulders and let him know as long as he was at The University of Alabama, the job was his.
Those from that era remember John Forney's voice on the radio as the last seconds ticked off the clock of many Alabama games saying, "Alabama sends in David Beddingfield." His job was to take the snap and immediately take a knee.
He did his job with pride.